612-644-9781 info@crossfitslipstream.com

The Slipstream Approach To Training

Many of us find our lives are just insane – there is so much to do and so little time to do it in, so many things competing relentlessly for our attention.  Fortunately, many of us are realizing that dedicating time to taking care of ourselves pays off in better performance in other areas of our lives.  CrossFit Slipstream gives you maximum results in minimum time, so your workouts serve your life as you want to live it.

People are different, so their training needs to be different as well.  The best option is personal training, though the cost puts it out of reach for many.  Many people find group training an enjoyable next-best.  But working out in a group means doing the same thing as everyone else – otherwise you’re just working out near each other, not together.   We square this circle by customizing our one Workout of the Day (“WOD”) to suit your needs and goals.  You do the same basic workout as everyone else, but we adjust the elements of the workout to specifically suit your needs, abilities, and goals.

Every new member is asked what their goal(s) is (are) – what brought you to CrossFit Slipstream?   What is it you want to achieve?  Every member is also assessed for their basic skills and abilities.  From there, we can make informed decisions on how to customize our group training to meet your needs.

Mechanics —> Consistency —> Intensity

Every exercise follows a simple progression: Mechanics —> Consistency —> Intensity.  Some of the factors we consider include: your experience and capability with each element of a workout, your fatigue level that day, and your personal fitness goals.  For example, if your mechanics on a certain barbell lift are inconsistent, then you will use less weight, do fewer repetitions, and focus on becoming consistent, rather than add intensity before you are ready.  If your overall goal is to run a fast marathon, and you have a hard run training session the next day, we’ll scale back the overall intensity of a workout, perhaps substituting or eliminating an exercise, so you are fresh for that run.

Related: Your Guide to Training for a Strong 5k

We also program our workouts by ability.  We program weights to be used on barbell lifts by percentage of your one repetition maximum (1RM).  We won’t test 1RM until you are ready, but we can estimate it pretty well until you’re ready to test.  We also err on the light side, to be safe.  We post maximum weights for things like kettlebell movements, to give you an idea of how hard that movement should be, rather than dictating that you must use weight X.  No one is allowed to go heavier than the posted maximum.  If that’s easy for you, then you get to go faster with that weight, rather than heavier.

Other elements, such as gymnastics movements, do not lend themselves to this kind of adjustment when writing out the workout.  But just like max weights for kettlebells or percentages for barbells, the version written on our whiteboard is the hardest version of that movement anyone will do, no matter how capable they are.  So if the WOD says “chest to bar pull-ups” and you struggle to do chin-over-the-bar pull-ups, your workout will be adjusted to challenge you, not insist that you meet a standard that is beyond you on that day.  It also means that no one is going to show off by substituting something harder, just because they can.

Related: Why Technique Is the Foundation of a Training Philosophy

These upper limits are as important as adjusting downward — they keep you from overreaching or over-emphasizing your favorite parts of a workout to the detriment of other parts.  Normally, people over-emphasize things we’re already good at, a common fault when working out on your own.  Working with a coach and a group helps you work on things you aren’t so good at, which often turns out to be what’s limiting your progress.

By knowing your goals, your abilities, and your struggles, our coaches can work with you to ensure you get the most out of each and every workout you do at CrossFit Slipstream.  We ensure that your workouts support your goals, rather than leaving you too sore or tired to do the things you want to do, whether it’s a long training run for your marathon or chasing the kids around the yard.

–John Bryant

Founder & Head Trainer

john@crossfitslipstream.com

JUNE MEMBER HIGHLIGHT – MEET JUSTIN!

Justin has been doing CrossFit at CrossFit Slipstream for six months!  He had his sights set on hiking to Everest base camp and needed to get in shape fast!  The secret to his success was consistently going to class 3 to 4 times a week, and as the pictures show, he even tested out his gear in a training session.  He completed his goal a few weeks ago, achieving his Everest climb.  Read more about Justin below:

1.Why did you decide to try CrossFit?

I came to CrossFit because I needed a jump-start.  I was in a rut.  I have a gym in my building and plenty of equipment, but lacked the motivation and the programming to get where I wanted to go, and I had to get there relatively fast.  You see, in November I had agreed to go with a friend on a little hike in the Himalayas, in April, to Everest base camp.  I had four months, and I was in the worst shape I had been in in years.  I had been looking at CrossFit Slipstream, the gym across the river that I could see from my house, I had done CrossFit years ago, and I knew what I had to do.

2. How has having a coach changed your workout or fitness results?

The difference between having John and the other coaches at CrossFit Slipstream, and not having a coach at all is night and day.  As I said previously, I struggle, like most do, with motivation.  Getting there is often the hardest part.  John’s programming makes it easier, his instruction makes it less intimidating and his supervision and scaling makes it safer no matter your fitness level or previous injuries.

3. How has CrossFit affected your life/health?

I have a demanding job and a crazy schedule. I needed motivation and I needed to get in total body shape.  I had a goal, I wrote the goal on the whiteboard at the gym, and I put a picture of Everest base camp on the refrigerator at home.  Without CrossFit, I would never have been able to achieve my goal.  I couldn’t have done it without you!

4. What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying CrossFit?

Whatever you think about CrossFit, forget it.  If you don’t know about CrossFit, check it out.  You don’t have to be an athlete, you don’t have to be in amazing shape to join, and you don’t have to be as intimidated as I was the first time I tried it out.  The truth is, we are there for motivation, we are there for community and everyone at the gym supports each other along the way.

3 Key Elements of a Successful Nutrition Plan

Food.  Such an emotionally loaded topic.  First, we should pause to give thanks for this “problem”, which most of humanity could not even dream of for most of history.  But we live today in this society.  So how do we cope with the situation in which we find ourselves, shelves groaning with untold edibles, many specifically engineered to trigger our pleasure centers?  There are lots of ways to address it, many of which have names and trademarks and copyrights, and many of those are effective, at least for a time.

The key elements of a successful nutritional plan are:

1) you can follow it,

2) you can continue to follow it,

3) it improves your health.

Related: Want to Improve Body Composition?  Here’s How to Know If It’s Working.

Note the first two elements add up to this: can you establish the diet as a habit?  Can you eat this way for the rest of your life?  If the answer to either of those two questions are “no”, then you are following a “diet” in the usual, copyrighted sense of the term – a temporary program of eating for a specific outcome, usually weight loss.  After reaching that goal, or giving up on the attempt. you will cease following the diet.  It is as if the diet was a prescription from a doctor with a book deal.

The key is to change your definition of “diet” from that temporary, goal-oriented plan, to a lifestyle, in which “diet” describes how you eat, as if an anthropologist was writing down a description of what makes up your “diet”.

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The third question is a necessary qualifier and where most of the difficulty lies.  The program of eating that you follow needs to promote your heath, rather than hinder it.  The all-pizza & soda diet may be easy for you to follow for a lifetime, but it will not support a healthy lifestyle.  The good news is that when you release yourself from the straight-from-the-book “diet” program, you have the flexibility to eat pizza (and even soda) occasionally, so long as it does not overwhelm your diet.  As long as your basic habits are positive, the occasional deviation will cause few ripples.

What should those basic habits be?  Vegetables and whole grains take up 1/3 to 1/2 of your plate.  Lean meats and fish 1/5 to 1/4 of the plate.  Some nuts, seeds, and other heathy fats, and fruit the rest of your plate.  Limit quick starches, processed foods, and anything with added sugar, which is virtually everything with an ingredients list.

To learn practical tips for implementing this plan in your life, attend our Nutrition Seminar on May 20th with Registered Nutritionist Rasa Troup!

–John Bryant

Founder & Head Trainer

john@crossfitslipstream.com

Pacing, Mental Fitness & the Tie That Binds

Our last two blog posts have discussed Pacing and Mental Fitness, respectively.  Pacing is the art of calibrating your effort for maximum average power output, resulting in maximum performance.  “Mental fitness” is a catch-all term we use to describe the mental aspect of athletic performance – how well you are able to steer your mental chatter towards optimum performance.  We could say how ‘fit’  you are mentally.   The two are closely intertwined, of course, and the tie that binds them together is breathing.

…to really use our breath to our athletic advantage, we have to first notice the fact of breathing and then begin taking a degree of control over it.

Very few of us know how to breathe.  Oh, we all breathe, all day long, and do a perfectly workable job of not dying.  That’s a start.  But to really use our breath to our athletic advantage, we have to first notice the fact of breathing and then begin taking a degree of control over it.

Related: Aerobic Capacity – What Is It & Why Is It Important?

This process begins with becoming consciously aware of your breathing.  We have begun this process at CrossFit Slipstream, primarily during weightlifting efforts, focusing on exhaling when working against gravity, and inhaling while working with gravity.  That is, exhale while lifting, inhale while lowering.  Sometimes we hold while lowering, especially on our heaviest efforts to help brace our core.  These are three of the four basic things to do with your breath: in, out, hold full, and hold empty.  A great way to build awareness is to “box breathe” – breathe in, hold, breathe out, and hold empty for the same time each.  Try a 4-count, and shorten if you need to:

The next step is to evaluate the effect these breathing patterns have on our efforts: do you feel stronger? Weaker? No change?  Do you feel less winded after a lifting set?  More?  Paying attention to the effect of different breathing techniques allows us to be as scientific (or at least systematic) as possible in working with our breath.  It’s not enough just to exhale now and inhale then because your coach told you to – you have to take responsibility for paying attention, identifying the effect of the breath, and provide feedback to yourself and your coach on what you experience as a result of breath work.

From weightlifting, in which it is relatively easy to manipulate and evaluate our breathing patterns, we increase the difficulty and begin applying it to our met-cons, runs, and other endurance activities.  In these situations, breathing with the diaphragm, as deeply as possible, and as slowly as possible, becomes our goal.  Keeping your effort aligned with your breath is the best, surest, way to keep your effort from crossing into oxygen debt, which will force you to slow down.

 Related: Intensity: The Key to Improving Your Physical Fitness

Being aligned with your breath means that your movements are timed with your breathing – not the other way around.  For maximum average power output your breathing should be deep, rapid, and just able to keep you out of oxygen debt.  That means that you can continue your effort without needing to stop and rest or slow down significantly.  The exhale is forceful and occurs when you need to move against gravity when lifting or doing bodyweight movements.  The inhale is deep, driven by the diaphragm, and timed to correspond to your movement with gravity.  For running, cycling, and similar activities, breathing is deep, regular, and aligned with your movement cadence.

Begin with this basic discovery of your breath and its abilities to calm your mind, power your movements, and regulate your effort.  More advanced performance measures begin regulating the pace of the breath, affecting your CO2 levels and other variables that affect performance.

-John Bryant

Founder & Head Trainer

john@crossfitslipstream.com

MAY MEMBER HIGHLIGHT – MEET TOM!

Tom has been doing the CrossFit Lite class at CrossFit Slipstream for over a year!  He is nearly 70 and full of life!  He is very funny and greets everyone with a joke!  We love having Tom as part of our community!  Tom shared his words of wisdom with us:

1.Why did you decide to try CrossFit?

My wife Helen saw the presentation in the skyway one afternoon last year. John told her he couldn’t keep her from getting old (a refreshing bit of candor in the present hyper environment) but she could delay decrepitude. That intrigued her. Neither of us have had much success in shared fitness endeavors. Alone we have had even less. She asked me to come along and I did, not expecting much.

It was a good hour of doing what we were sort of capable of, after a sensible and well presented 15 minutes of stretching and bending.There were a few things that we had not considered before( why would one drag a perfectly rollable large  tire?, or just get up from the ground as many different ways as possible?) The last quarter of the hour like the first quarter was another session of stretch and bend. I wasn’t quite sure, but saw enough benefit to give it a couple of sessions to give it a fair trial………I am very fond of it now and am much fitter and flexible as a result.

2. How has having a coach changed your workout or fitness results?

Every thing is done to CrossFit Standard, not to time, and as the classes are small (4 to 8 persons) you get on the spot corrections and repetition adjustment as required by a professional trainer and safety monitor. It is the same as having both a personal trainer and a thoughtful mentor. Since you do not know in advance what iterations you will be doing there is no anticipation or fear of failure. Your Coach tells you what you will do, shows you how to do it, watches as you practice doing it and then reinforces and  corrects you as you do it.

3. How has CrossFit affected your life/health?

Both my level of fitness and my agility are measurably improved. My physical strength and stamina have returned to levels that I enjoyed before retirement  and my confidence and resiliency are reinforced.

4. What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying CrossFit?

This is a great process that most might be unsure of,  given the expectations of most fitness programs. CrossFit is non competitive, (you meet and exceed your own expectations) Well monitored and well thought out. Progress is measurable and the benefits are apparent within a few sessions. It is time and money well spent in a functional safe environment that does indeed keep decrepitude at bay.

This has been the healthiest year my wife and I have enjoyed since retirement and Crossfit Slipstream is a big part of the reason for our good fortune.

Mental Fitness

Previous blog posts have discussed intensity and its importance to your physical fitness, but a review is appropriate in light of relatively recent developments in sports psychology that emphasize the athlete’s perception of effort – “perceived intensity” – as the critical factor in athletic performance.  Intensity is also the ‘secret’ sauce of CrossFit.  Not that there’s anything secret about it.  However, intensity is still elusive and probably the single hardest thing to attain in CrossFit.   It is also the key to getting the most out of your workout.  Achieving intensity is mostly mental.

Related: Aerobic Capacity – What Is it & Why Is It Important?

The relatively-new “psychobiological model” of endurance sports performance (“PBM”) provides actions we can take to improve our “mental fitness” – the ability to handle the discomfort that comes from intense exercise.  “Endurance” here means efforts lasting 30 seconds or more – basically anything other than weightlifting, field events or pure sprints, so it definitely can help your Fran time.  Benjamin Pageaux defines the PBM thus:

“The psychobiological model is an effort-based decision-making model based on motivational intensity theory, and postulates that the conscious regulation of pace is determined primarily by five different cognitive/motivational factors:

  1. Perception of effort

  2. Potential motivation

  3. Knowledge of the distance/time to cover

  4. Knowledge of the distance/time remaining

  5. Previous experience/memory of perception of effort during exercise of varying intensity and duration.

Sports Med DOI 10.1007/s40279=014-0198-2, May 14, 2014.

You need to experience the discomfort and, most importantly, discover what you’re capable of.

In English, that means that how hard you push yourself depends on how hard you believe you’re working, how motivated you are, how long you expect to have to keep working, and how experienced you are with pacing and effort.  These elements interrelate, and we can use each of them to help us unlock our potential:

1.  Perception of Effort: How hard you believe you’re working.  Notice it’s how hard you BELIEVE you’re working.  It is your mind’s interpretation of the signals your body sends it.  You can consciously alter your interpretation of these signals, especially through experience (see #4, below) and positive self-talk.  Positive self-talk is essentially the conscious mind ‘talking back’ to the subconscious mind.  The subconscious says “stop”, the conscious mind says “just keep going, only a few more reps”.  Usually, the positive self-talk will involve #’s 2, 3, & 4 – increasing your motivation, telling yourself there isn’t much longer to go, or comparing it with other efforts.

Related: Aerobic Capacity Training Part 2: Pacing

2.  How motivated you are.  Big race or solo workout?  Family and friends watching or quiet streets?  The more motivation you have, the easier it is to push your limits.  It works mainly by increasing the potential reward of a great effort (that boy/girl you like is watching!).  The presence of outside stimuli like an audience can also give your brain something to do besides focus on how bad the effort feels.   The less you listen to the negative self-talk, the easier it is to push yourself.

You can make your workouts more effective by imagining you’re at a race, with family or friends watching, or thinking of what your coach would say if you backed off right now.  Imagining their presence can help you find a similar boost as if they were actually present.  Or you can workout with a group of people doing the same workout, like at a CrossFit gym ;-).

Work Your Mind to Help Work Your Body

3.  How long the effort will continue.  The less time you’ll be suffering, the more suffering you’re willing to inflict upon yourself.  You can use this to improve performance by:

  1. getting experience with the effort (#4, below) and knowing how long it should or will take.  The more accurate your estimate, the easier it is for your mind to believe your positive self-talk.

  2. breaking the effort into smaller chunks – “just do the thrusters” (and ignore the pull-ups) for example, and

  3. when all else fails, lying to yourself – “just make it to the top of this hill, then you can rest.”  Then, right before the top, change it to the top of the next hill, repeat until there are no more hills.

Notice that this combines Pageaux’s 3&4 here – in your mind, there is little or no practical difference between the distance remaining and the time remaining.  The mind cares about how much time you’ll be suffering, not how much ground you cover (or reps you complete) during that time.

4.  How experienced you are with pacing and effort.  This is a big reason why it’s hard to teach intensity.  You need to experience the discomfort and, most importantly, discover what you’re capable of.  This takes lots and lots of practice, especially in CrossFit, where you’re constantly faced with new combinations of moves that can create different patterns of suffering or interfere with each in different ways than you’ve experienced before. This is where a background in sports is extremely helpful.  You can add to your background, or start to gain more experience, by signing up for local events, whether CrossFit competitions, 5k’s, 1-mile runs, or the like.  The more practice and experience you have with intensity, pacing, and judging your effort, the more you understand what a true maximum effort feels like, and the more you can try to re-create that feeling in your next workout.

–John M. Bryant

Founder & Head Trainer

john@crossfitslipstream.com

Aerobic Capacity Training, Part 2: Pacing

There are many additional benefits of aerobic capacity training to those discussed in Part 1, but they can be summarized in one word: pacing.  Pacing sometimes has a negative connotation to the arrogant, who might stereotype it as what wimps or losers do.  Winners charge out of the gate and don’t slow down!  Except that if you charge all out you will slow down when your glycolytic energy system is out of fuel, your muscles are chock full of lactate, and your heart rate is pegged at its maximum.  If you’re fit, that won’t happen for events less than 2:00, so if that’s the time domain the workout or event demands, by all means, slam the throttle and Go!  But for anything beyond 2:00, finding your maximum sustainable pace for the time you expect it to take is the highest intensity – and wisest – choice you can make.

…for anything beyond 2:00, finding your maximum sustainable pace for the time you expect it to take is the highest intensity – and wisest – choice you can make.

Simple test: run for 100m as fast as you possibly can.  How fast will you choose to run?  Pretty darn fast (relative to your body’s top speed), since 100m won’t take a very long time, and your phosphate & glycolytic energy systems can provide plenty of energy for that period of time.  Rest a bit, then run 1 mile as fast as you possibly can.  You could start out at your 100m pace, but you’ll exhaust those two energy systems and still have 1,500m left to go.

Obviously, the sensible thing to do is to run as fast as you think you can possibly hold for the full mile from the start.  This will feel relatively easy at the beginning, since you are full of oxygen and not using your glycolytic energy system at its maximum rate.  Your pace will not be near your body’s top speed, and your heart rate will not be at maximum.  To start.

Related: Why 50-60% of 1 Rep Max Makes You Fitter

As you continue to run, the byproducts of glycolytic metabolism will build up, signs of stress will multiply, and your mind will start talking to you, trying to get you to slow down.  If you have chosen your pace wisely, and are applying strong “mental fitness” – positive self talk and other techniques that help you resist the mind’s calls to slow down – you will run out of gas and be forced to stop just as you cross the finish line.  That is how you run the fastest mile you are capable of running.

CrossFit is a Constantly Varied selection of Functional Movements performed at High Intensity.  Your highest average intensity for a workout is achieved with proper pacing, rather than going out too fast, crashing, recovering mid-workout, and then resuming a high pace.  This fast start —> slow middle—> fast finish can create the false impression of high intensity.  It happens all the time.

Our famous 21-15-9 rep scheme gives us an easy example: You blow the doors off the round of 21, but were completely anaerobic, and collapse (at least metaphorically – you may still be on your feet, but probably with your hands on your knees) as you struggle through a 4 or 5-set version of your 15 reps of each exercise, gasping after not even a handful of reps.  This does allow you to recover, and, hey, it’s just 9 reps, so you blow through the round of 9, collapse on the ground, make your sweat demon, and pat yourself on the back for your “high intensity” workout.  But what you really did was turn a single high intensity workout – go hard, finish with everything you have – into an interval workout – sprint, rest, sprint.

The latter will not give you the benefits you would have received from a more evenly paced workout.  On top of that, you would’ve finished the whole thing faster had you found a pace you could hold throughout the workout rather than sprinting, resting, and sprinting (see, for example, the tale of the Tortoise and the Hare).

I once had a swim coach advise me to sprint everything in the 200 yard Individual Medley because you’re switching strokes every 50 yards, so you’re switching muscle groups, so it’s just 50 yards of a stroke, which is a sprint.  But those different muscle groups are all running off the same three energy systems!  The change does mean that you can go a little harder than you would for 200 of one thing, but you still cannot treat it as an all-out sprint and expect to finish with the fastest time you are capable of.  The truth is, even for CrossFit events with lots of different elements, such as the Filthy 50’s 10 different movements, pacing is a critical skill.

The more aware we are of our heart rate, breathing, the way the working and non-working muscles feel, the more we get to know what a given effort feels like, the better we can adjust our pace. 

Aerobic Capacity workouts give us the opportunity to focus on our pacing and get to know the physiological signs of our effort.  The more aware we are of our heart rate, breathing, the way the working and non-working muscles feel, the more we get to know what a given effort feels like, the better we can adjust our pace.  This allows us to check in during a met-con and determine how we are doing relative to our desired effort.  We can then adjust our pace and/or apply mental fitness as needed to finish in our best possible time.

Related: Training for Obstacle Course Racing

Pacing training also expands the range of time domains we can prepare for in the gym, despite our one hour class times.  You don’t need a 90-minute workout to practice your 90 minute pace.  Let’s say you’re preparing for a half-marathon, and want to train your body to finish in about 90 minutes.  That’s right under 7:00 per mile, so you can start by running a mile in as close to 7:00 as possible.

But you can also break that down further – it’s 3:30 for 800m, 1:45 per 400m, and 0:55 per 200m.  So you can run repeats of any of those distances for the goal time, and the process will teach your body and mind what a 7:00 pace feels like.  This will allow you to settle into your pace more quickly, and hold it more accurately over the course of the race, without ever having to do a full race-effort half marathon in training (which would be rather silly, wouldn’t it?).

By learning to pace properly, you can achieve and maintain the highest intensity you are capable of for a given time domain.  By practicing the required intensity for a longer event for shorter periods of time, you prepare your body and mind to understand – to “feel” – what it’s like to hold that pace, dramatically increasing your ability to actually hold your desired pace and thus achieve your goal for that event.  This makes us more capable, happier, and more confident athletes, capable of tackling whatever we set our minds to.

—John Bryant

Founder & Head Trainer

CrossFit Slipstream

john@crossfitslipstream.com

MEMBER HIGHLIGHT – MEET HELEN!

Helen has been doing the CrossFit Lite class at CrossFit Slipstream for over a year!  She is 70 and full of life!  She is cheery and very funny!  We love having Helen as part of our community!  Helen shared her words of wisdom with us:

1. Why did you decide to try CrossFit?
When I expressed my concern about CrossFit being too strenuous for a mature person, to John at promo table in the skyway, he responded  “you can’t help getting older but you don’t have to get decrepit”. I decided to give it a try.

2. How is having a CrossFit coach changed your workout or fitness results?
I have tried exercising before and always ended up with an injury.  I feel that having a coach helps work toward getting the form of the exercise correct and reduces the chances of injury.

3. How has doing CrossFit affected your health and/or life?
I now look forward to the variety of the CrossFit workout, well, except maybe, bear crawl.  I like the physical feeling of well being after working out. 

4. What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying CrossFit?
Perhaps visit Slipstream on a Guest Day and see if it is something they could try.

Is this You? “Running Sucks!”

Want to Love Running?  Use the Pose® Running Method.

The simplicity of running has long been celebrated. Most running magazines have a column dedicated to running for the sake of running. Not competition, qualifying times, fitness, health, or anything but the joy of running. While athletes in many other sports feel the same way, there is a dark corollary to this side of running that needs to be addressed: the “just run” school often denies the importance of good technique for all runners, regardless of ability level. Ignoring technique leads directly to injury, limiting access to the beloved joys of running. Good technique takes time, effort, and energy, but is a necessary investment to keep you healthy, happy, and on your feet.

Related: Why Motor Control Makes You Stronger

There are two major “schools” of running technique, Pose® and Chi Running®. I am certified in Pose® technique, so I will discuss it here, but know that, on closer inspection, both get you to the same positioning and same essential actions. Both emphasize posture and high cadence. The only real difference is in the approach, with Chi taking a more “Eastern” philosophical approach to Pose’s anatomical emphasis.

The “Pose” that gives the method its name is a simple figure-4 stance (gray figures in the image below):

Pose Sequence

All runners pass through this pose at some point in every step. The difference is in how efficiently the runner arrives at the pose – reaching out in front with your foot, keeping the foot on the ground for too long, or pushing it out behind you are all ways to move with less efficiency. Which brings us to the other two elements of the Pose® technique, which actually involve moving you forward: fall & pull.

Good technique takes time, effort, and energy, but is a necessary investment to keep you healthy, happy, and on your feet.

Inefficient runners often start by reaching forward with one foot, putting it down in front of them, jumping off the ground with the back foot, then, after a hard landing, pulling themselves forward on the standing leg before jumping again to repeat the process. The Pose® way to initiate and maintain your run is to hinge forward at the ankles until your General Center of Mass (GCM, aka center of gravity) is in front of your balance point. When that happens, you have two choices: fall on your face, or move a foot forward to stop your fall. Since running is the point, we don’t want to stop.

The trick is to place that foot only underneath or just behind your GCM. You stop the fall downwards by keeping that leg firm, while your fall forward continues. At this point, you Pull the standing leg up into the Pose position, rather than jumping off the leg. This minimizes your vertical movement, smoothing out your forward motion, and decreases the forces you absorb on landing. Allow that leg to drop, using gravity, not muscle effort, so the foot lands beneath or just behind your GCM, and you’ve completed the process.

And we are back where we started: pull that leg up into the Pose position smoothly, and you will be running much more efficiently and landing with less impact. Less impact, fewer injuries. More efficiency, and you can run faster, farther, or both for the same energy.

Related: Strength Training for Endurance Athletes – Videos & Guide

Focusing on our running technique allows us to minimize the risk of injury, increase efficiency, and increase our longevity and enjoyment of running. If you don’t like running, it might even make a runner out of you! Even if it doesn’t, the practice increases your body awareness, sense of balance, and overall coordination, which will pay significant dividends in every other physical endeavor you attempt.

Our Pose Running clinic this Saturday from 10:30AM-12:00 Noon will help you learn the basics and provide you with a transition plan to follow to get you running more efficiently as soon as possible!

Get the Pose running tip sheet by clicking the button.

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Send me a message with any questions you may have, I’m happy to help.

 –John Bryant

Founder & Head Trainer

John@CrossFitSlipstream.com

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